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Any nice ideas for topic winter/Christmas

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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:33 pm    Post subject: Any nice ideas for topic winter/Christmas Reply with quote

Dear all,

I am new to teaching preschool children (my kids are between 2 1/2 and 6 1/2) and was wondering if some of the more experienced teachers have some nice ideas for the above topic. I'd like to spend 3 lessons doing winter/Christmas things.

So far, thinking of a snowman and reindeer craft, a snowman poem, singing We wish you a Merry Christmas (version with clapping, waving etc). Would appreciate any more ideas including games.

Thanks in advance!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 10
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're in luck. I just wrote an article on this for my company newsletter. Keep in mind that these activities are mainly for kids 3-6 and in large groups (usu. 20 or more students) :

I really get into the holiday spirit during December – I wear Santa hats to class, wear a lot of red and green, use a large Christmas gift bag to bring my materials to class, etc. I also like to give a Christmas twist to all areas of my classes.

During the greetings, I not only say Hello and Good Morning (or Good Afternoon for kagai), but I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I point out when Christmas is on the calendar, and count how many days/classes there are till the event. “Ho, ho, ho” becomes a staple “greeting” for the month.

My hello song is a modification of a famous Christmas carol. To date, I’ve used two songs – “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. The hello song lyrics are (respectively) “Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning to you! Hello everybody, and Good Morning to you, hey… (repeat, faster)” and “Hello, Hello and Good Morning. Hello, Hello and Good Morning. Hello, Hello and Good Morning. Good Morning to you!”

My warm ups are usually song-based. I often use song modifications for “Hokey Pokey” ("The Christmas trees jump in, the Christmas trees jump out..."), “B-I-N-G-O” ("There was a man who had a sleigh and Santa was his naaaame..."), “The Wheels on the Bus” ("the lights on the tree go blink blink blink..."), “Old McDonald” ("Santa Claus had a sleigh. Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho... and on his sleigh he had some bells. Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho..."), “Are You Sleeping?” ("Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, let it snow, let it snow. Santa Claus is coming, Santa Claus is coming. Ho-ho-ho. Ho-ho-ho...", and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” ("Sleigh bells, Santa Claus, and Reindeer... Sleigh bells, Santa Claus, and Reindeer... Merry Christmas, Happy New Year... Sleigh bells, Santa Claus and Reindeer..."). Any of these songs makes a great warm up, review, or theme-based activity. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is also a great warm up song, especially if you make the verses be “We all do a little (action)… on a Merry Christmas” with the actions being clapping/stomping/jumping. I like to do the song in a circle. We march into the circle and do the action, then march backwards and do the action again, march back in and do the action, and then march backwards again for the last part of the verse, to reset for the next. It’s really easy to do, and it’s a Christmas tune most kids are familiar with (if I plan to use this song as a warm up, I use the “Jingle Bells” hello song so as not to double-up on tunes).

I use several core games with the cards – for Mr. Wolf and Retreat I use a picture of the Grinch to scare them back to the start line. For Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone? I hide a small card of Santa and ask “Where is Santa?” I modify Four Corners in a similar way, placing Santa and three dummy cards underneath large cards (placed in the middle of the room in a 2x2 formation)

For a goodbye song, I’ve used “Auld Lang Syne” as the tune and had everyone sit down and pretend to go to sleep while softly singing – “It’s time to go now, say Goodbye – Goodbye to you my friend… Goodbye to you, Goodbye to you. I’ll see you again.” This year I’m going to try one to “We Three Kings” – “Time to go now, say goodbye. Everybody say goodbye. Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Time to go now, say goodbye.”
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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow I am in luck! I was thinking no-one will even read my msg because there have been no posts on this thread since May.

Thank you for sharing....that's a ton of very useful ideas.
Starting to look forward to December now Very Happy
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Sally Olsen

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For variation we used to try something from different countries.

Mexico - make a pinata from carboard, usually in a star shape, and cover with crepe paper, stuff it with educational things (pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners) then hang it and hit it with a cardboard cone until it breaks and the children can scramble for one thing and make sure everyone has something. We sang Feliz Navidad.

Germany - we usually had to make a Christmas tree and decorate it. If we didn't have lights I would make the classroom really dark and have the children around the tree in stages (some on the floor, some on small stools, some on something higher), give them a small flashlight with coloured paper over the end, and then have them flash the lights as we sang, "Oh, Christmas Tree."

Greenland and probably Denmark - We had an orange/red paper star that fit over a light hanging in the center of the window. The paper star had star cut outs to make it look beautiful and these were usually covered in tissue paper to make a pattern. The children did a lot of cutting out shapes for decorations including making chains of coloured paper to put everywhere. Often children drew very pretty shapes on the board or even a scene of winter with coloured chalk. They made snowflakes out of various things from paper to styrofoam and hung those in the windows or from white plastic and stuck them on the windows. One girl was chosen to Santa Lucia and we sang that song as she carried a candle (electric).

We also used to make a December calendar with doors to open that had something special behind it - instructions for a game, treasure map with small something for everyone (sticker), directions for a craft and so on.

Have you seen the things on
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Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 276
Location: Nagano, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could make some printable Christmas cards ... That's always a fun Christmas craft.

You can also find a lot of ESL Christmas printables and activities here. There are flashcards, game cards, worksheets, coloring, printable board games and more. The materials are very flexible so hopefully they'll give you a lot of ideas as well.
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